Page 19: of Marine Technology Magazine (May 2014)

AUV Operations

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was the original AUV form factor of the early Odyssey plat- form that spun out of the Sea Grant lab in the early 90?s. It had an open propeller and control  ns, a different pressure vessel approach and basic sensors. Today, the Blue n vehicles don?t look anything like the Odyssey, The Blue n-21 platform is our most mature platform, the one we built the most systems on, we have been re ning the core technology for almost two decades.The particular vehicle used in the Indian Ocean for the search is owned and operated by Phoenix International, Hold- ings, Inc. of Largo, Maryland. About three years ago, it was a Blue n-owned asset we were using to upgrade the overall design to its next generation to address commercial survey operations. Back in 2012, Phoenix was looking for a system that could be deployed in just a few months. We sold them the asset with a plan to extend its depth rating from 1500 meters to 4500 meters. They used the Blue n-21 in the search for Amelia Earhart?s plane, completed that job and returned the vehicle for the upgrades. Once it was back in their hands, they went out on a search and recovery job for the Navy. Last year, it returned again for additional acoustic communication upgrades. Blue n and Phoenix had been in Hawaii with the system for extended deep testing for just a few weeks before the team got the call for the MH370 search. They mobilized to Australia almost immediately. It was kind of serendipitous we had just been working the vehicle at those depths just pri- or, and then it was mobilized. David Kelly, President & CEO BlueÞ n Robotics ? A Battelle Company Marine Technology Reporter 19MTR #4 (18-33).indd 19MTR #4 (18-33).indd 195/12/2014 1:50:32 PM5/12/2014 1:50:32 PM

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